Countryside fire safety
Please note: This safety advice is offered as guidance only. If in doubt, Get out, Stay out and get the Fire and Rescue Service out!
Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness.
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they can ruin whole fields of crops.
- Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start large fires. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- Only use barbecues in suitable and safe areas and never leave them unattended.
- Keep young children, and ball games away from barbecues.
- Ensure that your barbecue is fully extinguished and cold before disposing of the contents.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately. Don't attempt to tackle fires that cannot be put out with a bucket of water. Leave the area as soon as possible.
Don't be the cause of wildfire mayhem!
- It might seem like a good idea at the time, but a fire in the open can easily get out of control.
- Check first with the landowner if fires and barbecues are permitted.
- Only have them in a safe, designated area.
- Keep children away from matches and cigarettes, and open fires.
The Countryside Code
The Countryside Code contains advice for the public and landowners. It has information about rights, responsibilities and liabilities and how we all have a duty to protect the countryside. Together with common sense, it helps to make it easy for visitors to act responsibly and identify possible dangers.
"Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property – so be careful not to drop a match or smouldering cigarette at any time of the year. Sometimes, controlled fires are used to manage vegetation, particularly on heaths and moors between October and early April, so please check that a fire is not supervised before calling 999." (From the Countryside Code)
To find out more about the Code, visit the Government website:
- Fire safety in the Countryside
Fire Kills leaflet
- The Countryside Code